Friday, October 29, 2010

Better Runs

Thursday, Oct 28, 2010:

Last Monday I had a bad run at the N St Paul Community Center, but today’s run was just the opposite. I started more slowly, ran a mile less, and my cold is getting better. I had lots of energy at the end of the three miles. No problems, no pains.

I’m not enjoying the squirrel-cage track yet this year, though. Maybe I’ll try a treadmill next time so the track will seem wonderful by comparison.

Splits: 9:37, 9:11, 8:32, total 27:19, pace 9:11 average.

Wednesday, Oct 27, 2010:

Today we ran for the first time this fall in the Stillwater Bubble (St Croix Valley Recreation center). It’s a double (at least?) indoor soccer field, and every morning the doors open for walkers and runners at 6:00 am. The distance around the entire rectangle is very close to 1000 feet as a runner runs, with somewhat-rounded corners. The old surface had long since passed its design life, so a new surface was installed October 1 or so. The new one stinks.

We ran for an hour anyway, despite the smell of ground up rubber tires. In the Bubble I don’t try to run an exact distance because there are other people and it’s not always possible to clip the corners exactly. I time myself instead, and once in a while I may try to time one lap. 102 seconds equals 9-minute miles, and 114 means 10-minute miles. I ran closer to 9 than 10-minute miles for most of the time, I think, but ran out of gas in the last mile or so. That soft surface takes a little energy from every step. I ended up walking one of the short sides of the rectangle, then running the other three, and that routine still came out to 10-minute miles.

Good run, no problems. Even the right ankle.


Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Not A Recovery Run

Monday, Oct 25, 2010:

I hadn’t run since the KC Marathon 9 days ago, mostly because I have a miserable cold and hadn’t wanted to expose my lungs to a lot of cold air. But we went to the club, where I can run on the squirrel track at 70 degrees, 13.5 laps per mile. For some reason I started out strong, running the first laps in less than 40 seconds each, unusual for me even when I’m well.

But I wasn’t well, hadn’t run in nine days, plus my stomach was full from a too-recent meal, and yet for some reason I kept up that pace. Several times I tried to slow down, and maybe I did for a lap, but as soon as my mind went somewhere else I was back up to that pace, a race pace, too fast for me on that day. I ended up with a good time for four miles, but was quite worn out at the end, even a little woozy.

Splits: 8:48, 8:17, 8:18, 8:26, total 33:48, pace 8:27. I can run faster for four miles, but not that day.

Those cherries were from the tree of friend and fellow runner Rich. Man were they good. This photo was shot last summer.

Saturday, October 16, 2010

Kansas City Marathon Review

Kansas City Marathon, my 30th state and 47th marathon. We really liked this marathon! They got lucky with the weather today, too, maybe a little warm for the slow runners (like me) but 50 at the start and perhaps 73 or so at my finish.

My Race: The course is hilly, and I walked most of the way up most of the hills. I started with an extra (very ugly) cotton shirt and temporary mittens made from holey old sox, discarding all early in the race. I took six Clif Shot gels and at least six salt packets along the way. I took water at every aid station, but ended up thirsty anyway.

I met lots of Team In Training (TNT) runners, raising money for the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society, and thanked every one of them. They support myeloma research too, so they just might be saving my life. Thank you again!

No problems along the course except I really got tired of running uphill (duh!) and I did cramp up a little, though that was mostly after finishing. Otherwise I had fun and nothing hurts. Some of the time I ran beside a wheeler on a conventional chair, who was doing VERY well I thought. He described only one problem with the chair - it limited his downhill speed, because the front wheels would start to shimmy like the wheels on a grocery cart. He was a very competitive guy, too. I hope he can steal, borrow, or rent a racing chair sometime. He’ll do very well.

As I was truckin’ along, maybe mile 7 or so, Jay, husband of Amazing Cancer Girl, scooted up beside me and re-introduced himself. We had met at a conference last December. It took me a moment to connect the dots, but it was wonderful to see Jay again, and especially as a race volunteer. They live in KC.

The Marathon: It’s a great one, I’d recommend it to anyone. Be prepared for hills, is all. One WONDERFUL thing: Some of the race was on main thoroughfares, and those roads were CLOSED to motor traffic. No coned-off lanes, no cars at all. I felt safe. Love that! The police who managed the street crossings were wonderful, as were the volunteers who did that. There were enough spectators that I heard my name yelled in encouragement dozens of times (I wear “Don” on my shirt), and I high-fived a lot of little kids. The expo was good. Parking in a downtown ramp was free and easily reached from freeways (US 71 to 22nd St, W to McGee, S straight into the free ramp. Don’t be distracted by the $5 ramp on the left just before the free one).

The only problem I had was in the finish area. Sunshine tells me that there were finishers’ shirts for marathoners (though not half marathoners) but somehow I missed mine. Now I admit that I’m not the sharpest tack in the box when I’ve JUST finished a marathon, but I actually did make it a point to look around and TRY not to miss anything. I didn’t even know there WAS a finisher’s shirt, since we had all received a cotton shirt at the expo. They might have directed me to the shirts after putting on my medal, or whatever. Oh well, maybe half my fault and half theirs.

Also, they ran out of half-marathon finishers medals, and when my two girls asked for theirs, they were directed to a tent to sign up for medals to be mailed in a month. Nevertheless, it’s a good race, despite my bellyaching.

My Myeloma: I'm taking a novel drug called pomalidomide, made by Celgene, in a trial at Mayo Clinic. It's keeping the myeloma stable, so far, and I'm very happy that I'm not only above ground but able to run and enjoy life like any normal person. Yay to modern science! More about my myeloma here.

Splits: 11:16, 21:05 (2 mi), 21:36 (2 mi), 39:56 (4 mi), 9:44, 10:48, 10:58, 10:25, 20:41 (2 mi), 10:35, 23:30 (2 mi), 9:41, 22:32 (2 mi), 12:36, 13:50, 11:21, 11:44, 14:20 (1.2 mi), total 4:46:32, average pace 10:56, finished third of six in my age group.

A TNT runner, raising money for Leukemia, Lymphoma, Myeloma, and other blood cancers. Photo taken by Sunshine or Sweetpea. I don't know this runner, but I love her anyway.

Monday, October 11, 2010

Warm Fall Run

Monday, October 11, 2010:

Another delightful but warm run on the grass & dirt trails in the park. Just 3.7 miles this time, finishing in 39 minutes, for a pace of about 10:30. Good enough - I took several pictures of the fall color and didn’t stop the watch. Nothing hurts - it’s a masterpiece.

Saturday, October 9, 2010:

The St Croix Valley Runners meet at Stillwater’s Northland Tennis Courts every Saturday, 7:00 am SHARP, rain or shine. Today was shine; we watched a beautiful sunrise as we ran through the fall color in perfect running temperatures, about 55 degrees.

The speedsters ran out ahead and Dave, Candy, and I ran the Lake McKusick route. It’s very nearly the same distance, though much hillier, but none of the course is on 55-mph highways. In fact, it’s entirely on trails or 30 mph streets, and takes us all the way around Stillwater’s Lake McCusick. We finished in about 44 minutes, the fastest I’ve run that route. It may be a little shorter than 5 miles, as is the regular route, but it’s close enough for me and I claim a pace of about 9-minute miles. No pains, no problems. It’s a masterpiece.

Most of the trails are like this. Mowed grass with two ruts, usually dirt or sand, started by park vehicles and enhanced by people and horses. The grass is often fairly tall, so I prefer to run in the ruts most of the time, except when they get too muddy, too sandy, too narrow, or too deep:
More fall color

Friday, October 08, 2010

Warm Running in October

The temperature was actually a bit warm for running Thursday afternoon, but I’m not complaining. A beautiful, sunny day with plenty of fall color. I ran 6.1 miles on the park’s grass trails in 1:07, which is about 11 minutes per mile. Not fast but what the heck, it was warm, I stopped to take pictures several times, and I’m tapering. It'll do.

I did twist my ankle on a tree root in the last quarter mile, but it didn’t hurt the morning afterward so it can’t be too bad. That run finishes the week, with a total of just 18 miles.

Wednesday, October 06, 2010

The Weather Is Good For Running

Tuesday, Oct 5:

A wonderful romp in the park. 70 degrees, setting sun, slightly breezy, low humidity, and the beginning of fall color. What more could a runner ask? I didn’t push too hard, walking up many of the hills. 6.8 miles in 1:14, pace about 10:43, not too speedy but I did stop to take pictures a few times.

Saturday, Oct 2:

St Croix Valley Runners. Many of the runners were preparing to run the Twin Cities Marathon the next day, Sunday, so they walked three miles together, our traditional way to prepare for TCM.

Three of us ran the five miles, but the other two zipped out ahead of me, so as long as I was alone I took the McKusick route instead of the usual one, looping around Lake McKusick and through some neighborhoods. I do NOT like running along Manning Avenue with its 55 mph (plus) traffic. Five miles in 47:30. Not fast, but good enough. A beautiful day to run.

Thursday, Sept 30:

Evening run with Rich. What a lovely night for a nice, easy run, 5.1 miles in 54 minutes, then a beer afterward. Life is good

There are miles and miles of trails in Washington County's parks. This is one short piece.